Sunday, July 24, 2022

Games In the Heat

Started the morning with breakfast and Garfield In Paradise. Garfield's not happy when Jon takes him on a vacation to the ultra-cheap tropical island Paradise World. It doesn't begin well, either. Their hotel is a dump run by a salesman spouting Jack Benny jokes, but he does provide them with a nifty vintage 50's car. Their trip goes a bit better after that...until the car lands them in a village of doo-wop worshipping natives who live near a volcano that's about to go off!

Worked on writing for the rest of the morning. Yes, to Brett's shock, the new arrival is White Knight Richard Dawson. He was supposed to have died from the fall out the window of the White Castle! She's even more surprised when Richard seems addle-brained, falling off his horse and agreeing to a duel with Jack to rescue "fair maiden" Brett.

Headed out early to have lunch at work and pick up muffins for later this week on sale and mini lemon poppyseed scones. Had no trouble with Uber either way. Got a quiet gentleman in 8 minutes this afternoon; got a chatty young woman in less than five going home. It's still way too hot for riding my bike. It hit 100 here today!

Work was off-and-on steady, not too bad, especially for a Sunday. Some people were really funny. A mother and her three teen and college-age sons had the most charming British accents. I should have asked them where in England they came from. Another woman had a toddler boy with a head full of curls and the most precious smile I'd ever seen. He made me laugh so hard!

Not everyone was that pleasant. One group of women wasn't happy when I tried to explain that you can't mix soda brands. You can only mix and match the flavors within the brand. I can't help it if the soda companies don't play nice. I was tired, frustrated, and not up to dealing with them. They said I was giving them an attitude! I honestly didn't mean to upset them! I apologized so much and felt utterly terrible. They ended up not getting the soda at all. 

Stopped to pick up ice cream on the way home. I have a free online coupon for Acme's generic ice cream. Grabbed strawberry cheesecake, along with Talenti's chocolate peanut butter cup on a good sale.

Went home and listened to By the Beautiful Sea while eating dinner and having ice cream for dessert. Lotte Gibson (Shirley Booth) runs a boarding house at Coney Island with her father Carl in the early 1900's. She's in love with Shakespearean actor Dennis Emory (Wilbur Evans) and wants to lend him money, but her father (Cameron Prud'homme) bought a ride on the midway with it. Meanwhile, his ex-wife and her vaudeville star daughter "Baby" Betsy are also at the boarding house. Betsy's no baby, but her mother dresses her that way to keep her working. She's in love with waiter Mickey Powers, who thinks she actually is a child.

I've owned this CD for more than a quarter of a century. I picked it up from a now-defunct music store in North Cape May somewhere around the mid-late 90's, mainly because it was one of the only musical cast albums I could find at that point. I love Booth, but really, this is only so-so. If the extensive liner notes are any indication, they re-wrote the book several times and never did figure out what to do with Baby Betsy. She doesn't even get a song. The hit here is the lovely ballad for Evans "Alone Too Long." I also like Booth's comic lament "I'd Rather Wake Up By Myself" and the ribald cheer-up ditty "Happy Habit" for her maid.

Ended the night after a shower watching game shows on YouTube in honor of Bert Convy, who's birthday would have been yesterday. Convy, a former minor-league baseball player and singer, was probably the only host who came close to Richard Dawson in the "handsome and debonair" category. He appeared on game show panels going as far back as the mid-60's, but his hosting career goes back further than a lot of people realize. He guest-hosted episodes of To Tell the Truth for Bert Collyer in 1968 when the producers were trying to find ways for the show to skew younger. I was more interested in seeing which man was Loretta Lynn's husband Doo after having watched her biography Coal Miner's Daughter in March.

Bert was also a regular panelist on the 70's Match Game, especially in its early years. He made his regular debut on the show during the same week as Brett, Charles, and Betty. I went with an episode from later in the week where he got to show off a fairly rowdy answer.

CBS took note and signed him on to host the celebrity gossip game show Tattletales in 1974 when first choice Gene Rayburn was tied up with Match Game. CBS took advantage of Convy's suave reputation to advertise the show in an unusual way. Convy turned up in a cameo on Match Game kissing a contestant as the turntable brought them in. On The Price Is Right, Bob Barker caught him kissing model Anitra Ford right before a pricing game was to begin! (And apparently, when Tattletales was revived in 1982, The Price Is Right repeated the gag, this time with him kissing Dian.)

Barker and Rayburn both made frequent appearances on Tattletales, with their wives Dorothy Jo and Helen respectively. Bobby Van, who was hosting the charades game Showoffs in 1975, and his bubbly wife Elaine Joyce joined them for a host-themed week. Bert traded off with the other men to host the show, but he took over for the last day of the week. Elaine and Bobby just barely won over the long-married Helen and Gene.

Bert hosted the hit Super Password in the mid-late 80's. I found an episode from 1985 that ends with everyone celebrating his birthday...and it taking Bert, Tom Poston from Newhart, and soap star Leanne Huntley to blow out the candles on his cake! Bert had a habit of blurting out the answers, though thankfully he has enough sense not to do that here. 

I fondly remember watching him host Win, Lose, or Draw on USA Network in 1989. We trade word games for drawing games as two teams try to guess what a celebrity is drawing and what it relates to. Laura Hutton is among the celebrities helping out here. 

The password is...debonair! Check out these classic shows from the most suave and silly MC on television!

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